Technique Tuesday – The Kettle Swing
Time to learn how to perfect the classic kettlebell swing. If there is one movement to master, it is this. Do fewer reps with a heavy kettlebell for a strength workout, or more reps with a lighter weight and add in as part of a metabolic workout. The first tip to take note of is NOT to copy other people doing it at the gym; they may not be doing it right, and that can cause injury over time. The second tip to acknowledge is that this is an explosive ‘hip hinge’, NOT a squat movement from the knee. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at the correct technique for the kettlebell swing.
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Keep your shoulders relaxed to avoid shrugging the kettlebell and ending up with your shoulders around your ears.
Activate your glutes by driving your hips through to a neutral position (where you are upright). Aim to keep your forearms attached to your hips until you reach neutral then, as your arms come up, squeeze your glutes to prevent overextending your lower back.
Your head position should be neutral. The gap between your chin and your chest shouldn’t change.
Use “soft” elbows throughout the swing. Keep your arms relaxed to take the tension out of your arm muscles and, instead, use the momentum of the kettlebell.
Your knees shouldn’t bend excessively during the swing – it should be a hip hinge motion. This is a posterior chain movement (the muscles on the back of your body), not a quads exercise.